In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 13-28 (2018)

Charity Anderson
Baylor University
This chapter investigates the rationality of failing to believe miracle reports. Hume famously argued that it is irrational to believe that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony alone. While certain aspects of Hume's argument have received extensive discussion, other features of his argument have been largely overlooked. After offering a reconstruction of Hume's argument, I argue that epistemic defeat plays a central role in the argument, and I explore the aptness of as well as some limitations to Hume's reasoning. I then discuss the relevance of the prior likelihood of an event when evaluating the evidential strength that testimony to such an event provides. Finally, I explore some ways the argument is altered if we adopt a non-traditional picture of evidence and defeat.
Keywords Hume  miracles  testimony  epistemic defeat
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